In the battle for the mid-sized saloon and hatch market, there are a few main players; most notably, Ford and Toyota.
In the battle for the mid-sized saloon and hatch market, there are a few main players; most notably, Ford and Toyota. Both companies have excellent offerings in this segment but then along came Vauxhall to put the cat amongst the pigeons with the Vauxhall Insignia, winner of the European Car of the Year award 2009.
Apparently, UK drivers favour the practicality of estate cars and so many will be pleased that the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer has arrived in the showrooms. And, following a test drive, they are likely to be all the more pleased and impressed by the array of trim levels and engine options as well as the overall feel of the car.
The test car was the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Elite Nav, 2.8i V6 Turbo 4x4, which comes with a 6-speed, automatic gearbox. It tops the range at £30,690, which is £785 more than the same car without the DVD satellite navigation system comprising colour screen, a radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility and AUX and USB sockets. Bought as a separate item, this system adds £900 to the OTR price of the SE and Elite or £1200 to the Exclusiv and SRi but is not available with S trim. Bluetooth is not included and adds £150 to the price of all of the trim levels.
If the Elite is above budget, then perhaps the entry-level Exclusiv 1.8iVVT is a better option at £17,865. There are plenty more in between, but what they all have in common, is acres of space. Well not perhaps acres but between 540 and 1530 litres luggage capacity and plenty of legroom within the cabin.
The Vauxhall Insignia's luggage area has a dual floor with a hidden storage space beneath the main platform. The deep rear bumper melds into the boot lip, which has a metallic guard-plate for protection and easy access. Both this and the extended bumper are largely covered by the chunky, elongated tailgate, when closed.
The imposing tailgate, which is powered on Vauxhall Insignia SE and Elite models, wraps around the body and includes the rear light clusters, so they lift as well. In the interests of safety, Vauxhall has added a secondary set of interior taillights so that the car can be seen at night when the door is opened. A luggage compartment cover is standard issue but the vertical restraining net is a £200 option, across the board.
Vauxhall Insignia Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.8 V6 4x4 Elite Nav|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||154 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||34 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Star|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 29/04/09)||£31,965|